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I’m High

4 Mar

How’s that for an attention grabbing headline? πŸ˜‰

So I haven’t exactly been keeping up on my New Year’s goal of updating my blog more often lately. But at least I’ve been spending my time wisely while I’ve been away. I started Crossfit!!! (This is where the “high” part comes in.) I’ve been doing it for two weeks now and I’m already hooked. There is a certain “high” that comes with doing it because you push yourself beyond the limits that you thought possible. I figured this out real quick last week when I couldn’t do a pull up and I left the gym in a terrible mood because I couldn’t get my “high.” I’m an addict. πŸ˜‰

Another aspect of Crossfit that is different from a traditional workout is all the encouragement you get from everyone else at the gym. I said to the hubby the other day as we were leaving the gym, “People here are sure fans of the high-five.” He laughed and said, “Well since you never played sports, this is a new concept to you, but that’s what people do.” HA HA! I stand corrected and now I am apparently a fan of the high-five as well. πŸ™‚

p.s. In case you’re not familiar with Crossfit, here’s a handy video to show you what an ass kicking it is.

In other news, I made a yummy, quick, and healthy dinner tonight using a bunch of random veggies from my CSA box – Green Curry Fried Rice.

Start by sauteing whatever veggies you want to use. I used onions, mushrooms, broccoli and mache. (To be honest, I’m not 100 percent sure of exactly what mache is, but it’s some kind of green that keeps showing up in my CSA box, so I keep using it. :-))

Meanwhile, in a second pan, scramble four eggs (two per person) and then add some pre-cooked brown rice to make a sort-of fried rice. (I used Trader Joe’s microwave brown rice.)

Then in the veggie pan, add a jar of Trader Joe’s Thai Green Curry Simmer Sauce, plus enough coconut milk to thin the liquid so it covers all the veggies.

Heat the sauce through.

Then spoon the egg and rice mixture into bowls and cover that mixture with the sauce. Stir it all up and yum!


What Do You Eat?

26 Jan

As a vegetarian, I get asked all the time “What do you eat?”. I got asked this question today, in fact, which is what inspired this post. So here’s what I made for dinner tonight:

It’s part of my “Make It Up As I Go Along” series. πŸ˜‰ It’s tempeh, red onion, garlic, cumin and greens sautΓ©ed in olive oil. My CSA box has encouraged many creations from the “Make It Up As I Go Along” series, since I always have to find creative ways to use up my veggies.

Other things I eat for dinner that are delicious and meat free:

Garbanzo beans in Trader Joe’s curry simmer sauce over brown rice (if I have greens to use up, I will add them in with the beans and sauce. It’s yummy!)
Black Bean Soup (click here for recipe)
Lentil Stew (click here for recipe)
Breakfast for dinner with a veggie scramble (whatever veggies I want to use up combined with eggs)

Speaking of food, I’ve been doing my diet for about two weeks now and I’m down five pounds! The best part though is that after avoiding sugar for two weeks and eating every 2-3 hours to keep my blood sugar even, I feel great! I have so much more energy and I don’t get “that 2:30 feeling” in the afternoons anymore. And when I come home from work, I still have energy to do stuff, rather than just planting my ass on the couch. πŸ˜€ Now I just have to make myself remember this feeling forever whenever I see a dessert that calls my name. Avoiding sugar makes it easier to avoid sugar though. πŸ˜‰ Meaning if you don’t eat sugar, you don’t crave it.

Next up on my health “to do” list is taking my exercise to the next level. Up until this point, I’ve just been doing walking and easy hikes, but I finally feel like my body is adequately recovered from my broken leg and I can start to push myself more.

Hooray for feeling fine and healthy!

A Classic Fail

19 Jan

It was a rough night in the Cabs and Dogs household last night. The younger furry kid woke up several times during the night with barfing and, umm, you know, that other thing that often comes with barfing. 😯

Just like a kid daycare, doggie daycare doesn’t take sick kids, so luckily I was able to work from home today so I could be here with him in case there were any more “incidents.” There were, in fact, a few “incidents” and there was also a lot of this:

For dinner tonight, I made Iowa Girl Eats’ Superfood Salad and, as luck would have it, someone suddenly felt a lot better when I was trying to make dinner. Just like a kid, he wanted to play, he wanted to eat and he wanted to go to the bathroom. πŸ™„

This salad was really good. It was also a lot of work. In fact, it totally violated my rule of chopping no more than three veggies per recipe. πŸ˜‰ I doubled the recipe too because I wanted to have leftovers for lunches, so that meant double the work. I also made a classic cooking fail – I totally underestimated the size of bowl I would need.

I got about half way through the recipe and my bowl was totally heaping full and I couldn’t really stir it. D’oh! 😳 So then I had to bring out the big guns:

A bowl normally reserved for making stuffing on Thanksgiving had to be busted out on a random Thursday night.

It fits!

That’s much better!

Then it was time to get my eat on because I was seriously tired after making this.

What’s more important to you when cooking – convenience or deliciousness? I would say I fall somewhere in the middle on this one. I’m definitely not willing to work too hard for a weeknight meal, but if it’s a special meal or on a weekend, then I’m willing to get down and dirty for yummy food.

*Note: I did make a few modifications the original recipe: I did not use corn and I used maple syrup in the dressing instead of sugar.

Santa Claus and Baby Carrots

17 Jan

Here’s a fun riddle for you: what do Santa Claus and baby carrots have in common? The answer: neither one is real. πŸ™‚ This is something I learned when I read the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle a couple of years ago. (A book I highly recommend, by the way.) So, yes, apparently baby carrots are made from normal sized carrots that are whittled into “baby” size. Then they dip them in some kind of preservative to keep them fresh, since they don’t have the protective outer layer like normal carrots. YUCK! No wonder I never liked baby carrots. Why am I giving you a lesson in baby carrots, you ask? Well, because I got some real carrots in my CSA box this week, so I decided to cut them up and eat them with hummus for a snack, just like some people would do with baby carrots.

These were so good! Like something you would actually want to eat! Because let’s face it, baby carrots are pretty much just a tasteless vehicle to get the dip in your mouth, right?

Speaking of my CSA box, I made a yummy salad for dinner tonight that used three different items from the box. I’m so proud of myself. πŸ˜€ I found the idea on the For the Love of Food blog. The salad consists of arugula, squash, pomegranate seeds and lentils, plus a delicious dressing. The original recipe called for delicata squash, but I used butternut squash because that’s what I had on hand. I also used the pre-cooked steamed lentils from Trader Joe’s instead of dried ones because I’m lazy and impatient.

I was especially happy to find a use for a pomegranate because I’ve been getting a ton of them in my CSA box. Having farm fresh fruits and veggies has definitely been a learning experience, particularly with these pomegranates. Before this, I never knew how to remove the seeds from a pomegranate. The first time I tried to do it, it was a bloody juicy mess! It seriously looked like an episode of Dexter in my kitchen. Then I thought there must be a better way, so I found this video online from everyone’s favorite domestic diva, Martha Stewart.

Essentially, you just beat the shit out of the pomegranate until all the seeds fall out. πŸ˜‰ This method was easier (notice I said easier, not easy), but it was still kind of messy.

The best tip I’ve come up with so far is to use a deep bowl, so that the juice doesn’t fly three feet across your kitchen and onto your freshly painted wall. Not that this happened to me or anything. πŸ˜‰

Then you get to use your pom seeds in a yummy salad, like so:

In other news, it’s a jungle out there, or a forest, or… something. πŸ˜‰ So here’s the deal, our house backs up to an avocado grove and behind that are the foothills of the Saddleback Mountains. That means wildlife! It’s pretty common for coyote sightings in our neighborhood, but last night was ridiculous! We have had a freaking owl hooting at night around here for the last couple of weeks, so last night it starts in around 10 PM and it seriously went on like all night. Then the coyotes started in with their howling too! Hubby and I both had to wear earplugs to get any sleep! Now I’m not a wildlife expert (shocking, I now), but I don’t think owls usually hoot for hours at a time. So this is either an owl on speed or there is no owl at all and one of our neighbors is screwing around.


So anyone else ever had an “owl problem”? How did you handle it?

I’m On The Wagon

8 Jan

The diet wagon, that is. πŸ˜‰

Since it’s that time of year and since I have big plans for 2012 (like maybe, kinda, sorta trying for a baby :shock:), I decided it’s time to focus on my health. The program I’m doing is called First Line Therapy and it’s something I had started doing last summer, before I broke my leg. But then I totally got off track, since I wasn’t even able to cook my own meals. So now, I’m back!

Now let’s be real for a minute, this plan is a diet it is not a “lifestyle change” or any of that BS. It is simply too restrictive to be a lifestyle – no booze or caffeine allowed (two of my favorite things. :(). It is, however, a good way to lose weight and you do learn things on it that can and should be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle. For example, on this plan, you must eat small meals throughout the day, every 2-3 hours. This was HUGE for me when I did it before. I had always thought of myself as being good about having healthy snacks between meals, but what I learned was that I would let myself get too hungry before I eat the snacks and my blood sugar would drop. Keeping your blood sugar even throughout the day will make a huge difference in your mood and energy!

Another thing I like about this plan is that it’s focused on eating whole foods – no Jenny-Craig-style frozen miniature pizzas here. πŸ™‚ Here’s a sample of a typical day:

Breakfast (eat within 1 hour of waking up):
Smoothie made with vanilla meal replacement. (this specific plan includes a meal replacement powder that you drink once a day to help ensure you are getting all the vitamins you need, but you could add in a vanilla protein powder, if you prefer). In my smoothie, I put 2 scoops meal replacement, 1 cup water, ice, 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, 1 Tbs peanut butter, 1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese, and several handfuls of spinach. I know what you are thinking, the ricotta cheese sounds disgusting, but trust me, you can’t even taste it. I like to add it as a way to get more protein. It’s better than adding yogurt, since most yogurt has added sugar and sugar is a no-no on this plan.

Morning Snack (eat 2-3 hours after breakfast):
3/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese with 1 pear diced. Cottage cheese and pear is a yummy combo!

Lunch (eat 2-3 hours after snack):
Black Bean Soup. Keep reading for a delicious and easy recipe below.

Afternoon (eat 2-3 hours after lunch):
1/4 cup hummus with veggies. My two favorite veggie dippers are broccoli and cauliflower

Dinner (eat 2-3 hours after snack):
Veggie Fried Rice. Made using 1 cup brown rice, 2 eggs and whatever veggies you like. Be sure you watch how much oil you use when cooking this. The plan allows for 4 Tsp of oil per day, so use wisely and spread throughout the day.

For lunch, I like to have black bean soup, so I make a big pot of it on Sunday, so that I can eat it throughout the week. Here is a delicious and very easy recipe that I found on the Cooking with Trader Joe’s blog.

Black Bean Soup
Note: I doubled the recipe below because I wanted to have a week’s worth of lunches.


β€’ 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped (or use 1 1/2 cups TJ’s Freshly Diced Onion)
β€’ 1 clove crushed garlic, or 1 cube frozen Crushed Garlic
β€’ 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
β€’ 1 tsp ground cumin
β€’ 2 (15-oz) cans black beans (do not drain)
β€’ 1 jar of your favorite salsa, such as TJ’s Chunky Salsa
β€’ 2 Tbsp lime juice (juice of 1 lime)

1. In a medium pot, add the olive oil and sautΓ© the onions until they are soft and translucent.

2. Add cumin and garlic, sautΓ©ing for an additional minute.
3. Pour in black beans (including juices), salsa, and lime juice. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Simmer covered for 20 minutes.

It’s that easy! And then you have a delicious bowl of black bean soup to enjoy. You can also top it with sour cream, if you like, but I don’t think it needs it, plus that’s not allowed on my diet. πŸ˜‰

I know different things work for different people. Do you have a “go to” method for losing weight?

More Or Less: 2012 Goals

4 Jan

May I present to you…

My 2012 resolutions Goals: (presented in a handy, easy to remember “more or less” format. πŸ˜‰ ) p.s. I hate the word “resolutions” – so clichΓ©, no?

Exercise More
Hike More
Ride My Bike More

Eat More Vegetables – I’m already on my way to meeting this goal, thanks to my CSA box. Check out my haul from this week:

Spinach, Lavender, Lettuce, Collard Greens, Pears, Apples, Potatoes, Pomegranates, Acorn Squash, and Rutabaga.

Find more recipes for my repertoire – new year, new meals! My same old, same old recipes are feeling kind of tired.
Update this blog more often
Focus on getting more blog readers

Go to bed early more (OK, I just added “more” to that one to make it fit. ;-))
Get up early more (Yep, did it again.)
Get more organized in the morning – I ALWAYS feel like I am running around like a mad woman every morning. Instead of sitting down with a cup of coffee and watching Good Morning America, as I would like to do, I’m standing at the kitchen counter, stuffing my toast in my face as I pack my lunch. Not a good way to start the day!
Read more
Stress less – I want this to be the year of focusing on what is REALLY important to me and not worrying about the rest. Perhaps a lofty goal, but I’m gonna go for it! πŸ˜€

I heard that you greatly increase your chance of completing your goals if you make them very specific, such as “I’ll lose 10 pounds by March,” but, frankly, those kind of goals just stress me out, so that would mean I am NOT accomplishing the stress less goal. Besides, I think if I work on my exercise and eating goals, then weight loss will just come naturally as a result of those goals. That’s my stress less way of looking at things. See, already accomplishing things! 😎


Anyone have tips for being more organized in the morning? I lay out my clothes the night before and select what I will take for lunch the night before (just pack it in the morning), but I still feel crazy. Perhaps my biggest problem is that I find it very hard to get out of bed in the morning, so consequently, I don’t have much time.

Kicking Off The New Year Right

2 Jan

Tomorrow marks the end of Christmas vacation. πŸ˜₯ But at least I can say we have made the most of our time off!

On New Year’s Eve, we headed up to Hollywood for a matinΓ©e of Wicked at The Pantages Theatre.

It was awesome! I was definitely tearing up during parts of it. Plus the Pantages is a gorgeous venue, so that made it extra special! After that we headed home to ring in the New Year with a little champagne and some New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on the tube.

Yesterday, we kicked off the New (healthier) Year right with a hike and veggie-filled lunch at Panera. This was the same hike we went on during Thanksgiving weekend and my leg was much stronger than it was then, just over a month ago, so I was pretty happy with my progress.

Today, we had a once in a lifetime experience – we went to the Rose Parade. And I say once in a lifetime because we are never going back again. πŸ˜‰ Seeing the Rose Parade is one of those things that is very nice to say you have done once, but in my (and hubby’s) opinion, it is simply not worth the hassle when you can easily watch it from the comfort of your couch. We had grandstand seats, so we didn’t have to camp out overnight to get seats, but we were seriously crammed into those seats like sardines! I was literally straddling a rather large man who smelled like his last shower was… well, not today. 😯 Complaining aside, the floats were beautiful! And as a former band geek, I enjoyed and had great sympathy for those poor kids walking miles in those hot band uniforms. πŸ™‚ Here are some photos of the festivities:

Smiling through the pain of sitting in the bleachers.

Trader Joe's Float - one of my faves.

Some band geek love - Wisconsin Badgers Band

AIDS Foundation Float with Liz Taylor's face in flowers. Very cool!

My fave float! It was called "If Pigs Could Fly" and the pigs were so cute!

And now I’m off to prepare for the workweek ahead. Blah! 😦

p.s. Still working on my New Year’s goals list (and, yes, I’m calling them goals instead of resolutions). Will post later this week. πŸ˜€


I have to ask, what are your goals for 2012?